Fredrick Clark Wagner, 96, formerly of Amarillo, died Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, in Longview.
Services will be at 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 11, 2013, in First Baptist Church with Dr. Howard K. Batson, pastor, officiating. Private burial will be in Llano Cemetery. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Mr. Wagner was born September 29, 1916 at 805 Monroe St. in Amarillo. He entered the Cradle Roll of First Baptist Church on January 7, 1917 and has been a member ever since. In Amarillo he attended Wilson Elementary, Central Jr. High and Amarillo High School. He was an Eagle Scout and later served as Scout Master of Troop 12 in First Baptist Church.
On November 17, 1940, he married Ruth Virginia Billingslea. They were married for 70 years.
He joined the Air Force on November 9, 1942 and was assigned to the 9th Air Force where he served as an armorer, servicing bomb sights, bomb racks and gun turrets on all types of bombers and fighter planes that were in Europe at that time. He also served a period of time assigned to the Royal Air Force of England servicing Spitfire fighter planes. While in France he received a military commendation for developing and installing the first rockets that were ever to be fired from an aircraft. These were bazookas that were installed under the wings of an L-5 Piper Cub, artillery observation planes. These were the prototypes of all rockets and missiles that are now fired from aircraft. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force on January 9, 1946.
Following his discharge he attended the Gemological Institute of America in Los Angeles and received his Certified Gemologist degree. Shortly afterwards he became a member of the American Gem Society. He joined his father in the jewelry business and became a co-owner of Wagner’s Jewelers which were the largest jewelry stores between Dallas and Denver. In 1969 the stores were sold to Zales and he semi retired to Denver where he opened Rings, Inc. in Cinderella City. At that time it was the largest mall in the country. Then in 1974, he purchased a store in Longview, Texas and moved the family there.
In 1989, he and Ruth moved back to Amarillo to take care of his mother. After she passed away in April 2001, he and Ruth moved back to Longview to be near their children and grandchildren.
Clark was an avid bird hunter and fisherman and loved the outdoors.
Survivors include a daughter, Virginia and son-in-law, Doug Stanley; a son, Allen Wagner; three grandchildren, Tiffany, Reagan and Ryan; and a great-granddaughter.
The family will receive friends on Monday at 9:00 a.m. until service time in the Welcome Center at First Baptist Church.